Stories about Religion from January, 2011
Qatar: Qaradawi to Mubarak: “You are blind, deaf and dumb”
Banished Egyptian cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi described Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak as “blind, deaf and dumb,” lending his influential backing to protesters calling for a change in the regime for the fifth day in a row.
Uganda: Homosexuality not a European concept
Mark notes that homosexuality in Uganda is not a European import: “The irony is that homosexuality existed here long before Europeans had ever set foot on the African continent and it is, in fact, Christianity, a true European import, that has demonized homosexuals.”
Lebanon: ‘Day of Rage’ Shocks Bloggers
Thousands of supporters of disposed Sunni Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri took to the streets in a 'day of rage' on Tuesday to protest the fall of their leader. The worst of the scenes were in the predominantly Sunni city of Tripoli, where protestors burnt tyres, vehicles, offices, and attacked the media. Bloggers of all political persuasions expressed dismay at the violent behaviour and openly sectarian nature of the protests.
Mexico: Indigenous Rights Advocate, Bishop Samuel Ruiz, Dies
On January 24th, Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia passed away at the age of 86. He was known for his work as an advocate of the rights of the indigenous Mayan people in the state of Chiapas.
Nepal: Panel Discussion On Case Discrimination
Bhumika Ghimire moderated a panel discussion on case discrimination and Nepali women where Dr. Drona Rasali and Ms. Sushma Barakoti, two influential members of Nepali diaspora, were present. You can listen to the discussion in her blog Bhumika's American Adventure.
Pakistan: Wake Up Before Its Too Late
“Pakistan’s quasi-democracy might be the nation’s last chance, before a tide of part real, and part manufactured extremism engulfs the country,” opines Raza Rumi.
Mexico: The Passing of Indigenous Rights Supporter Bishop Samuel Ruiz
Bishop Samuel Ruiz passed away this morning. Tim Johnson explains: “Ruiz […] started the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center out of his diocese, and played an instrumental role in keeping the Zapatista uprising that erupted in 1994 from flaring into broader violence. Ruiz’s work on behalf of...
Pakistan: The Veenagate Controversy
Veena Malik, an aspiring Pakistani celebrity, was accused by religious hardliners of immoral behavior as she took part in the Indian reality show Big Boss. Reactions on this controversy show that Pakistan now stands divided amongst its conservative and liberal forces.
Malaysia: Hindu Festival Celebrated Amid Protest
The Hindu festival of Thaipusam, a public holiday in Malaysia, was celebrated as devotees thronged the famous Batu Caves to fulfil their vows. This year's event became controversial after activists were arrested for protesting the inclusion of a "racist" novel in schools. The book depicts the Indians as the "pariah caste"
Armenia: Not so spiritual remedies abroad
Unzipped comments on news that the spiritual leader of Armenia, Catholicos Garegin II, has undergone medical treatment in the U.S. However, the blog concludes, traveling abroad for a simple procedure might seem more like a damning indictment of the Armenian medical system.
Venezuela: The Feast of the Divine Shepherdess
The feast of the Divine Shepherdess is celebrated every January 14 in Venezuela. Bloggers recalled and shared the origins and history of this Catholic tradition, while on Twitter and Facebook users shared photos and blessings. The political discussion that is present in the daily life of Venezuelans was also part of this year's celebration.
Maldives: No Plan To Combat Terrorism
Hassan Ziyau complains that a full proof plan to combat religious terrorism has been absent during the tenure of successive governments in Maldives.
China: Falun Gong Tiananmen immolation incident ten years on
Following up discussions over why China sees so many acts of self-immolation but none of the response seen in Tunisia, Stainless Steel Mouse notes [zh] that ten years have passed since five Falun Gong protesters led a deadly protest in Tiananmen Square: ‘it didn't lead to a Falun Gong uprising,...
Education Policy For A Secular Bangladesh
J Rahman at Mukti opines that the new education policy of Bangladesh, which seeks to modernize the country’s madrassahs, can one day create a secular state in Bangladesh.
Pakistan: Salmaan Taseer- We Buried A Man Not His Courage
The death of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has brought to the forefront a clear distinction, on one hand are those who endorse the assassination and glorify the assassin and on the other hand those that consider his death a setback and a national loss.
Pakistan: Interior Minister Calls For Reporting Of Blasphemous Contents
Shahzad Ahmed reports in a tweet that Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has called for the “Nation” to report anti-Islam or blasphemous contents to him, so these can be blocked within 24 hours.
Barbados, U.S.A.: The Republicans
“Trust the Republican machinery to make you start feeling nostalgic for Dubya”: B.C. Pires blogs about She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
Pakistan: A Public Discourse Is Required
Sana Saleem proposes a public discourse between the activists and clerics to resolve the current crisis in Pakistan with a mutual consensus.
Brazil: Does democracy respect its religious minorities?
Sakamoto reflects [pt] on the news by Folha de São Paulo about Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's withdrawal of a bible and a crucifix from her office: “State must ensure that all religions are free to exercise their worship”. The news was biased , as Cris Rodrigues explains [pt] in #dilmafactsbyfolha.
Cuba: Decree 217/97
Laritza's Laws blogs about the fallout from Decree 217/97, “a rule that turns a Cuban into an illegal in his own country.”
India: Saints As VIPs
Debolina Raja Gupta criticizes the tendency of the common Indians in providing the saffron cloth claded Babas (saints) VIP treatment everywhere.